By Rey E. Requejo | Manila Standard
Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said the Supreme Court, sitting as a Presidential Electoral Tribunal, would decide soon on the electoral protest filed by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. against Vice President Leni Robredo.
“The Supreme Court would like all election cases to be terminated before the end of the term [of Congress]. That is the policy of the Court. Everybody is aware of that,” Peralta said in an online media briefing on Friday.
“It would still be better, I told them, that cases should be decided before the filing of certificates of candidacy which is in October 2021,” the chief magistrate added.
Robredo won the 2016 vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes.
Meanwhile, legal professionals from the Marcos camp on Sunday said the Supreme Court applied a double standard when it fined a Court of Appeals associate justice a year’s pay for inefficiency, but failed to discipline one of its own who had 82 unresolved cases, including Marcos’s election protest.
In a recent en banc decision, the Court found CA Associate Justice Marilyn B. Lagura-Yap guilty of gross inefficiency when she failed to decide on 160 cases during her stint as presiding judge of Mandaue City Regional Trial Court Branch 28.
But sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said it was unfair to penalize Yap but not act on Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor Leonen, one of the senior justices of the 15-member bench.
Court records show that Leonen topped the list of justices with a number of pending cases. These include 37 cases that are ready for decision but remain unresolved, and 45 cases which are still awaiting other pleadings to be submitted.
Marcos had accused Robredo of cheating in the 2016 elections, but Leonen, who is in charge of the case, only acted upon it last month.
The Marcos camp sources said Leonen was mocking democratic processes by not acting sooner on a case that involved the second highest elected position in the land.
Yap, on the other hand, was fined an amount equivalent to one year of her salary as a penalty for her inefficiency. She was also admonished to be more diligent in the performance of her sworn duty, especially now that she is an associate justice of the Court of Appeals.